I signed up for a free class called Real Motivation for Real Change by Dr. Ari Tuckman, one of the leading expert psychologist in Add/ADHD treatment. It was interesting and instructive, although the first time I listened I was only paying half attention to what he was saying and I heard something with half an ear that pissed me off. I heard him say “we “should” feel bad about ourselves before we’re diagnosed and if we don’t there’s something really wrong with us.”
Now, ordinarily I would have ripped off an email to the dear Dr. expressing my outrage and insult to his mutterings. This time, I actually raged for a bit, couldn’t let it go, almost sent him the scathing email formulated in my mind and then decided to re-listen to his class to make sure I had understood correctly. And, I actually followed through, paying more attention and not multi-tasking as I usually do when I’m listening to someone trying to teach me something:)
Of course, once I had listened I understood the context he was using and it made SO much more sense. He was talking about how ADD/ADHDers were often labelled apathetic, selfish, uncaring etc. and while that was sometimes true enough it was really not that simple. What appears as apathy (uncaring) is often ambivalence (anxiety and pessimism) which prevents the desire to accomplish something well by blocking the ability to try. That protective pessimism is all about not getting your hopes up just so they can be crushed when you’re disappointed. Optimism is risky so if you get your hopes up those hopes are open to being dashed. It’s all about effort and not ability. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and your past track record contains all the proof needed to show all of the failures when you did try. And all of this is justified cause for suffering from anxiety and depression. You should feel bad about yourself! Who wouldn’t? But this is BEFORE diagnosis.
After diagnosis you have the opportunity to educate yourself about ADD, the opportunity to try medications and different treatments to help control some of the symptoms of ADD and learn some different skill sets to succeed. Armed with the knowledge that this is all neurological rather than moral you can forge ahead and try anything your heart desires without your history pulling you back.
Of course, you have to feel better to do better. Treatment, medications, coaching…alone or combined lets you learn improved skills and gives you the chance to learn acceptance that certain things will be harder for you. You don’t have to be happy about doing something that will be difficult for you, but if the task is unavoidable, then you must just slog through it well enough to complete it.
Also, learn the difference between acceptance and resignation. Acceptance
=/ resignation …which implies hopelessness and helplessness.
I learned a lot by listening to that class again and paying attention. The biggest thing that I learned about myself is:
Boredom is my biggest fear and always has been. That fear of being bored has been the impetus to all of my life stages, from the frantic morning til night activities, all of them exciting and exhausting to the last and final shut down in Sept. 2009.
The statement that really resonated is “emotions usually create black and white thinking. The reality of life is grey, nuanced, and subtle.” I fear boredom, I panic, I lose the ability to reason and I only feel.
I was taught from the very beginning of my life that my emotions counted for nothing, they were not important and they certainly did not merit sharing in any way. This lesson was beaten into my head day after day, from the very start of my life I’m told, so it was a lesson that stayed with me long after the intelligence of my mind should have banished all such nonsense.
Tomorrow, I will write about the rest of his class which brought me to my moment of understanding.
Thankfully, I kept a level head long enough not to send that email to him.
What a loss that would have been for me!!!
Yes you can! Grow something to eat!
I cannot begin to explain why this made me laugh so damn much LMAO
My 1st reaction to this was "HAD" to make a living by creating art? OMG! There is no HAD involved…I should be so freakin' lucky! Earning enough money to live on creating anything having to do with any facet of art is a dream come true!
I would love to get paid for writing, painting, decorating, styling, and anything else that would strike my fancy in the future. How exciting would this be?!
Be still my heart, too wonderful to dream about, like dreaming of being a superstar singer when you're tone deaf LOL